Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dinner and a Cat

I just had to make something different for dinner tonight, but what? Hmm, perhaps a bit of East meets West? Let me mull this a bit more...

Little Minx has been busy testing his nine lives. What is it with cats and darting right in front of people who are walking along, minding their own business?
Minx likes to sit inside my tomato cage 'tree'. Silly kitty.
East meets West. East meets West. Aha, I have an idea...

I dug in my freezer and found a package of beef top blade steaks. I also gathered black pepper, sweet chili sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and chives.

You can keep your fresh ginger for quite some time if you wrap it tightly in plastic wrap before sealing in a zipper-top bag. Stored in the freezer, the ginger stays fresh and can be brought out so that the needed amount can be cut or grated.

I grated about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of ginger and 1 large garlic clove into the measuring cup.

Then I mixed together perhaps 1/4 to 1/3 cup soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce, 1 teaspoon chopped chives and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. After tasting, I also added a splash of rice vinegar and about 1/4 cup brown sugar. There, that was exactly the flavor profile I was going for.

Just remember that this is To Taste and the ingredients and amounts can be varied as desired.

Then it was time to turn my attention to the meat. Top blade steak has a good deal of gristle on it, so careful trimming is required. It is vital to have a sharp knife and for the meat to be partially frozen if very thin slices are needed. Of course the meat was cut across the grain in order to ensure maximum tenderness.

Now, that is thin.

The scrap cuts were then added to a freezer bag containing beef bones and scraps for later beef stock making.

The meat marinated for an hour in the sauce and then was cooked in a bit of canola oil over medium-high heat. The meat should be cooked in batches so that the meat sears rather than steams. The cooked beef was removed to an oven-safe bowl and held in a warm oven while I continued to sear the rest of the meat.

I also had flour tortillas, lettuce leaves and slivers of onion on hand.

Time to assemble the dish.

And now I present to you my Spicy Asian Beef Wrap.
As promised, the meat was tangy and tender, the lettuce crisp, with a peppery bite and the onion a nice counter point to the meat. The flour tortilla lent a neutral background to the other flavors. Sometimes I even impress myself.
When I told the Foodie daughter the name I had come up with for my creation, she objected that it wasn't all that spicy. I responded that I didn't want the heat to come up and slap you in the face, but rather to come up behind you and gently tap you on the shoulder. I also added that the level of heat could be changed depending on one's taste.
Then, the daughter got up from the table and stopped. "Oh, there's the spice," she proclaimed.
Exactly, dear daughter.

No comments: